Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & '60s Volumes I By Ernest Tate Resistance Books, 2014 www.resistancebooks.org “A police cruiser with two uniformed officers pulled up alongside me,” recalls Ernest Tate in his newly published memoir Revolutionary Activism. “They jumped out and asked me for identification. I gave it to them. ‘What’s in your suitcase?’ Dirty underwear, I said. ‘Open it,” they ordered. I told them it was none of their business. They almost went berserk …”
The Danish Red-Green Alliance (RGA) marked 25 years since its founding at a national conference on May 16 to 18. A radical left unity project marking 25 years in existence is itself a cause for celebration, but this conference was able to celebrate much more. After about 20 years as a fringe party in Danish politics, the RGA has recently emerged as a significant force.
The turnout and energy at the March in May rallies on May 18 proved that people are not going to take this budget lying down. Numbers were up in several cities compared with March in March. In Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane there were sizeable anti budget rallies on the day, even though March Australia groups had decided not to organise protests. Student rallies against the cuts to education on May 21 were bigger than any seen for a decade.
“A huge win for people power” is how campaigners describe the victory against gas company Metgasco, which had its exploration licence at Bentley suspended by the New South Wales government on May 15. But it took several years of systematic campaigning to get to this decision. I spent time at the Bentley blockade over May 17 to 19 and spoke to protectors, organisers and participants who were still shocked at the NSW government’s decision.
The East West Link is not the vote-winner that Victorian Premier Denis Napthine had hoped it would be. A recent opinion poll shows most Victorians are opposed to the state government’s plan to build the new toll road and want the money spent on public transport infrastructure instead. The Labor opposition says it opposes the project and would not continue the project if it wins the next state election, due to take place in November. That is, unless contracts have already been signed, in which case an incoming Labor government would allow the project to go ahead.
Thousands of people marched against the federal budget and took part in March in May rallies on May 18. About 15,000 people rallied in Melbourne against the proposed budget cuts. Viv Malo from First Nations Liberation told the rally that while $50 million was devoted to police in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland, $500 million will be cut from Indigenous services. She said: "You are killing us. This is not a lucky country. You won't have your freedom without ours."
Recent opinion polls show there is widespread opposition in NSW to the Coalition government's plans to privatise remaining public assets. Polling by UMR Research, reported by the Australian Financial Review on May 1, shows a majority of people are against proposed sell-offs announced recently by Premier Mike Baird. It found 61% of respondents opposed the privatisation of the state's electricity poles and wires, while only 23% supported the idea. An even bigger 73% are against any sell-off of NSW public hospitals, with just 18% in support.
After the brutal budget comes the ceaseless round of insulting lies and justifications from the government.
3CR released this statement on May 2. *** As many thousands of people across the country mobilise against the Tony Abbott government, 3CR community radio is asking its listeners and supporters of independent media to join the resistance by donating money to the station during our annual Radiothon.
The premiere of new film Radical Wollongong was held in Wollongong, NSW, on May 18. About 230 people attend the event at the Gala cinema. Film writer and co-producer John Rainford introduced the film and Aboriginal leader Mark Bloxsome gave a welcome to country.